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Mifune, Toshiro

Born: 1920 AD
Died: 1997 AD
2 (40%) 2 votes

1920 – Born on April 1st in Tsingtao, Shantung province, China. A leading actor in the post-World War II Japanese cinema, known internationally for his energetic, flamboyant portrayals of samurai characters, especially in films directed by Kurosawa Akira.

1946-1947 – Going to Tokyo after the war, he was hired as a contract player by Toho Film Studios at Kurosawa’s urging.

         – Mifune had a small part in Shin baka jidai (“These Foolish Times”).

1948 – He achieved critical recognition and box-office success as the gangster in Kurosawa’s Yoidore tenshi (Drunken Angel).

1950 – Mifune first achieved international fame for his role as a boastful bandit in the classic film Rashomon.

1954-1962 – He is best known for his popular portrayals of samurai in other period films by Kurosawa, including Shichinin no samurai (Seven Samurai), Kakushitoride no san akunin (The Hidden Fortress), Yojimbo, and Tsubaki Sanjuro.

         – A highly versatile actor, he also starred in Kurosawa’s adaptations of three Western literary classics: Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel The Idiot, titled Hakuchi; Shakespeare’s Macbeth, titled Kumonosu-jo (Throne of Blood); and Maksim Gorky’s play The Lower Depths, titled Donzoko. Mifune also appeared in Kurosawa’s Tengoku to jigoku (High and Low), a detective thriller; and Akahige (Red Beard), his last appearance in a film by that director.

         – Mifune starred in dozens of other Japanese motion pictures, among them Samurai 1: Musashi Miyamoto and Joi-uchi (Rebellion).

1969-1976 – Among the international productions Mifune appeared in are Hell in the Pacific, Tora! Tora! Tora!, Soleil rouge (Red Sun), and Midway.

1981 – He also performed in the American television production Shogun.

1997 – He died on December 24th in Mitaka, near Tokyo, Japan.

2 (40%) 2 votes